Kenneth Dolin calls sometimes — usually late Saturday or Sunday morning — to speak nonsense in a breathy, high-pitched, faux-Gaelic slide whistle of a voice, bastard sonic offspring of Lenny Bruce’s Father Flotski and the Lucky Charms leprechaun (“Turn yourself in, Dutch! It‘s magically delicious!”). Usually a Jew, Dolin now fancies himself militantly Irish, Protestant as well as Catholic. (I tried to contact Liam Finn of Burbank, a noted authority on such matters, to find out if Dolin’s condition might respond to treatment; Finn could not be reached for comment.)
Dolin reminds me that his name, an Ellis Island–style reduction of something Russian, sounds more Irish than not — certainly more Irish than Russian — and thanks me to mind my own business. Then he belches a dainty bubble — “‘Fraid I’ve a wee bit much to drink!” (it‘s 10 a.m.) — and boosts his nonsense quotient with a fierce condemnation of some imagined turmoil responsible for his current state of ethnic confusion. “It’s the rotten sartarten in the heartland, is what it is, Dyaevy,” he says. “Martin Barton carted the dartin‘ faerts afar, do you know. Ten tin gardens hardened the jar lid, so Mester Martin tarred the karn parten.” After several thickly brogued minutes punctuated by incoming calls, outbound bubblebelches and an occasional actual James Joyce “quote” (“Dyaevy? Artin tyartin I hebna totin’ riverrun rhotin‘, hevvinoes! And fallin’ sooftly upon the daerk, myootnous Shannon waves, Dyaevy!”), Dolin gets to the point: the desire to drink coffee alfresco. “A weecuppajoah, lettle Dyaevy? Tarten dae faerten garten join me for a wee — [belch] — ‘fraid I’ve a wee bit much to drink — cuppajoah, Dyaevy? Such a lovely dartin to relartin and tartin in the garden, don‘t you know. Kate and Timothy’ve gone and gotten the mumps.”
Though Dolin is not one of the few who actually finished Finnegans Wake, he manages to maintain his brogue through several weecuppsajoah and on into breakfast, darting and rolling nonstop through hissegsen potyeato, hoalwee toastwith stroahbrie jamnbut‘ter. Dolin’s no bigot, incidentally. He admits and presumes and welcomes the probability that someone living in an Ireland far more physical than his own calls friends on the weekend to torture them over morning coffee rituals with faux-rabbi gevault-shtick as senselessly cartoony as his own Father Leprechaun.
As an artificial Irishcatholic Jewprotestant caricature, Kenneth Dolin could use a new holiday. He likes cookies and presents, but he doesn‘t like them stale.
Right up until his death in 1994, comedian Bill Hicks liked to discuss the shelf life of religions in terms of the JFK assassination. But some people were sick of hearing it from him.
“Bill,” they’d say, “just let it go. It was a long time ago. It‘s over.”
“Okay,” he’d say, “as long as you stop talking to me about Jesus. It was a long time ago. Let it go.”
If JFK‘d been Jesus, the KKK would be burning rifles on our front lawns, and Christmas cookies would taste the same. I give this century’s chart-busting religions another 15 hundred, 2,000 years, tops, during which we‘ll need to replace them with something more relevant. More relevant than marketing orgies and bright, happy chicken eggs hidden forever by childhood’s chocolate bunny of Resurrection. “This is the Space Age,” William S. Burroughs once said. “We‘re here to go.”
#Mr. Hat’s Hell Hole Sound Archive has a lovely 8-bit, 11 kHz mono version of what it calls the Kyle Jew Song (a.k.a. “It‘s Hard To Be a Jew on Christmas”) that’ll keep your circumcised soul blanketed these cold December nights (www.thehellhole.comsoundsotherimajew.wav).
#EduNet, “a virtual community for those involved in education in Ireland,” has gobs of education resources, links and the complete text of James Joyce‘s Ulysses (www.edunet.iebooksulysses), starring Dublin’s most famous Jew, fictional or otherwise, Leopold Bloom of 52 Upper Clanbrassil Street.
As a favor to the “God Will Die” board of directors, E Blong presents On the First Day of the Year 2000, God Will Die (www.eblong.comxgod2000). Q: “What do you mean by ‘God’? Whose God?” A: “We mean the same thing you mean. Any God; all Gods. We‘re not picky.” Q: “What about Goddess?” A: “They’re all the same to us, friend. Penis-counting always seemed a pretty undignified job for a theologian anyway.” Q: “Why are you publishing a Web site?” A: “Imagine how embarrassing it would be if God died and nobody noticed.”